Firemen set to write next carnival chapter

Alahna Williams plays ring toss with her grandfather, Karl Blanchard, during the Beacon Hose Firemen’s Carnival and Parade last year in Beacon Falls. This year’s carnival begins on June 8. –FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — Members of Beacon Hose Company No. 1 are hard at work preparing for the next chapter of a tradition that started in 1963.

The 54th annual Beacon Hose Firemen’s Carnival and Parade will blend together rides, games, fellowship, craft beer and food — plenty of it deep fried — for three days next week at the firehouse at North Main Street.

Whether to take a ride on the Ferris wheel, enjoy a steamed lobster or reconnect with old friends, people from the community and across the state flock to the carnival year in and year out.

“The support we get is amazing from the town and the townspeople,” Beacon Hose Fire Chief Brian DeGeorge said.

DeGeorge said a lot of work goes into hosting the carnival every year, but it’s well worth it. He said the carnival is almost a reward for the work the firemen put in all year, and for the support the community gives to Beacon Hose and the annual event.

That support is ultimately returned to the community.

The carnival is Beacon Hose’s largest fundraiser. The money raised goes to support the numerous programs, including fire prevention programs, scholarships, youth sports sponsorships and holiday celebrations, sponsored by Beacon Hose.

“We really couldn’t do it without [the carnival],” DeGeorge said.

The festivities kick off June 8 from 6 to 10 p.m. with the familiar sights and sounds of years past. New this year to the carnival is a 40-foot rock-climbing wall for people who are feeling a bit adventurous.

The opening night will feature a trivia competition at 7:30 p.m. Teams of two to eight people can sign up for $5 per player to compete for a cash prize.

The carnival extends a little deeper into the night on June 9 — it will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. — and features live music by Purl.

The carnival is open from 3 to 11:30 p.m. on June 10 with the day’s highlight, the annual firemen’s parade, stepping off at 6 p.m.

The parade starts at the intersection of Route 42 and South Main Street. About three dozen or so fire departments and EMS units are slated to participate in the parade, DeGeorge said. The parade also features town organizations, like the Boy Scouts and youth sports leagues, and a handful of marching bands.

Some changes made last year will continue, including no more food tickets. Those who want a burger, steamed clams or a deep-fried treat can pay for them at the food booths with cash. Credit and debit cards are also accepted for a $1 transaction fee.

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